Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 151
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121

    Shorter stem on a road bike

    Hey Guys,

    I got a professional fit for 2.5 hours yesterday at my LBS. The guy used Trek precision fit along with a mix of serotta and other fitting techniques/theories. I am coming off a neck injury, so it was important for me to be a little more upright and comfortable getting back into the game.

    After all was said and done, I most closely matched with a 56 Domane but with a 80mm stem. It was Trek's closest match mathematically as well as my fitter. If I went 54 it had me on a 90mm stem, however the 56 required less fit modification overall and gave me more options to tweak for fitting purposes and future growth, like getting more fit and wanting to get lower/more aero.

    My question is, how many of you run a shorter stem on your road bike? I've always used 100+ stems but was never professionally fitted until yesterday.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    7,600
    I'm going to guess they have a 56 in stock they want to get rid of and not a 54.

    It's somewhere counter intuitive but actually the 54 is the one that allows for a more aggressive position in the future because the headtube is 1.5 cm shorter. And the reach is only .3 cm shorter so pretty much insignificant.

    An 80 stem is too short and it's simply wrong that that the 56 will allow you to get more aggressive in the future as compared to the 54.

  3. #3
    pmf
    pmf is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    4,271
    I hope you didn't pay them money for that "fit". That shop owes you 2.5 hours of your life. An 8 cm stem is incredibly short and is going to result in twitchy handling. And how does going down to a 54 cm only increase the stem length by one cm? Have you considered the angle of the stem? That would be a way to get you more upright, yet easily changed to more aggressive (flipping it, or going with a stem with less angle) fit later on. Or what about those upright type "comfort bikes" like a Specialized Roubaix? Just suggestions -- and I've never owned a Trek os Specialized bike, so I'm no expert on either.

    You really ought to check out another bike shop.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    3,066
    The goal I shoot for is a frame fit using a 110mm stem (I think that was Eddy Merckx's standard too so who am I to question that) and the shortest I have is a 100. As others have commented, sounds like the Shop is trying to "fit" you to what they have in stock and not what you really need.

    If you can only go to a 90mm on a 54, you may actually need a smaller frame than a 54.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    So let me get this straight. I should go and tell this professional fitter, who has been doing this for 25 years and holds many certs and is highly regarded in the state as one of the best, that he's wrong? And that people on the internet are telling me what fits without knowing my proportions?

    Let me clarify a few things. He had both sizes in the shop and is a big Trek and Giant dealer with lots of stock and options. Its a brand new '17, so not old stock. Even if you go by the trek size chart (which you shouldn't really) I'm a 56.

    Also, what he said was that the 56 allowed more fitting options and required less modification than the 54 would have. The 54 would have worked, but I'd need to max out the risers and the saddle to bar drop was too great as I have long legs. So not only would i need a new stem still, it wouldn't help with my neck issues as the stack would be too low.

    Just looking to see peoples experiences with an 80 mm stem. So far its "too short" but I've been reading around and it seems the "too twitchy" thing is a myth. And many seem to run them.

  6. #6
    The Slow One.
    Reputation: Alaska Mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,503
    Stem length and how it affects handling depends on things like head tube angle and fork rake and all sorts of things I don't understand. I haven't really tried. I have a few lengths of the same stem, so when I build up a new frame I take a rough guess and then adjust from there. I'm usually pretty close.

    I've seen some pretty short stems on H2 Treks (down to 70mm on a 56cm frame), at least shorter than I would run. I usually run a 100mm on 56cm H1 Madone (haven't built up a H2 yet), and most 56cm frames are similar for me. If I go down to a 55cm or 54cm frame, I go up to a 110mm stem (depending on the fit goals). That's me, and your fit goals are completely different.

    What I would do is see if they have a 54cm and 56cm in stock and test ride both with their suggested stem lengths. If not the same bike, one with a similar geometry. See what works for you. Without seeing you on the bike, that's about the best advice I can give you.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    I think I probably should have stated that I'm not going for a race fit, smaller bike, etc. I WANT a larger, stable endurance fit for my neck issues. The stem length was basically due to me constantly saying "this feels better" when we were on the reach part of the fit. He even expected me to be on a longer stem. I think going on the shorter stem was more likely a result of my flexibility and comfort now, which I hope will change.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,478
    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    So let me get this straight. I should go and tell this professional fitter, who has been doing this for 25 years and holds many certs and is highly regarded in the state as one of the best, that he's wrong? And that people on the internet are telling me what fits without knowing my proportions?
    You came here with the question.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    7,600
    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    So let me get this straight. I should go and tell this professional fitter, who has been doing this for 25 years and holds many certs and is highly regarded in the state as one of the best, that he's wrong? And that people on the internet are telling me what fits without knowing my proportions?
    You can do whatever you want with the information you get here. If all you want is confirmation though you need to understand people might give honest answers and not just say what you want to hear. You'll have to decide for yourself is you want to listen or not.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1,094
    The shop is trying to get rid of an old stock 80mm stem.

    beware op
    Last edited by factory feel; 01-24-2017 at 08:40 AM.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    14,491
    I have bikes with stems of 120 mm and 80 mm, chosen to adjust for different top tube lengths. The difference in handling from the stem length difference is subtle, small, and easy to adjust to almost instantly. It has far less effect than the real steering geometry parameters (head angle, rake, trail, etc.) There is zero "twitchiness" associated with the shorter stem, IME. I think people are overstating the "problem," based on my own experience.
    We are far from pefect,
    But perfect as we are
    We are bruised, we are broken,
    But we are goddamn works of art
    Works of art

  12. #12
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    And I asked those questions back.

  13. #13
    pmf
    pmf is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    4,271
    Quote Originally Posted by ejewels View Post
    So let me get this straight. I should go and tell this professional fitter, who has been doing this for 25 years and holds many certs and is highly regarded in the state as one of the best, that he's wrong? And that people on the internet are telling me what fits without knowing my proportions?.
    OK, so let me get this straight -- you have the best professional fitter in the entire state (hopefully a really big state like California), who has been doing this for a billion years, and you question his advice by posting the results to a bunch of dumbasses on the internet?

    If you keep saying 'that feels better' every time he shortens the stem, then guess what -- you'll end up with a short stem. Some free advice -- have you considered a 58 cm frame with a 7 cm stem? At any rate, keep us posted if you find anyone who actually has a bike with an 8 cm stem.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: arai_speed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,530
    I have 2 road bikes.

    A 56cm with a 110mm stem and a 58cm with an 80mm stem.

    I have experienced no ill effect w/the the 80mm stem. Group rides, twisty canyon descents, etc.

    Good luck!

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    You can do whatever you want with the information you get here. If all you want is confirmation though you need to understand people might give honest answers and not just say what you want to hear. You'll have to decide for yourself is you want to listen or not.
    Honest answers by who though, thats the question. Pro bike fitters? You're right, I don't want to hear assumption-fueled answers by people that don't know my proportions or body dynamics. Is that wrong? I also don't mean to sound confrontational. I just really want to see people's views on running a shorter stem.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    OK, so let me get this straight -- you have the best professional fitter in the entire state (hopefully a really big state like California), who has been doing this for a billion years, and you question his advice by posting the results to a bunch of dumbasses on the internet?

    If you keep saying 'that feels better' every time he shortens the stem, then guess what -- you'll end up with a short stem. Some free advice -- have you considered a 58 cm frame with a 7 cm stem? At any rate, keep us posted if you find anyone who actually has a bike with an 8 cm stem.
    Looks like 2 posters already said they use a 80. What are your credentials to be telling me for sure an 80 is too short and my bike is way too big without knowing my body dynamics, flexibility, proportions or merely anything about my experience?

    I'm not trying to argue with you and I appreciate any feedback. However being told I may need a 52, that no one runs a 80mm stem and that I got "had" by a reputable shop seems a bit much no? Especially without me ever posting my stats?

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    I have 2 road bikes.

    A 56cm with a 110mm stem and a 58cm with an 80mm stem.

    I have experienced no ill effect w/the the 80mm stem. Group rides, twisty canyon descents, etc.

    Good luck!


    Thanks. Thats reassuring.

  18. #18
    Forever a Student
    Reputation: MMsRepBike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    4,521
    Here's the deal, you currently have a "Fred" setup, and that's what people are griping about.

    You currently have a very high and short stem to deal with whatever issues you have, and it's not the way things are done. The setup you have is not correct, it's not normal, it's not as the manufacturers intended, and people are letting you know that. Would you put a 6" steering wheel on your car? Your setup is wrong/not ideal/Fred because of your injury or medical condition or whatever it is.

    So they're right. An 80mm stem on a 56cm frame is wrong, it doesn't belong there, the company never designed that bike that way, and all those spacers shouldn't be under the stem either. But alas, you're not normal, you're injured or recovering or whatever is going on.

    So for now ignore people here, as you aren't normal. Once you get riding and get putting some miles in, you'll feel it quickly. You will want your stem lower, you will want it longer, it will cause you problems as is.

    You may think that bunching up your spine is the best thing to do for comfort, but you're wrong, it's the other way around.

    And you can't expect the fitter to do what's right for you when you're in there complaining about pain or injuries or whatever in your neck. He'll try to get you comfortable on your bike, and then FOR FREE, he will adjust your position later/over time as you become more flexible and as your current incorrect position starts to hurt.
    use a torque wrench

  19. #19
    Bianchi-Campagnolo
    Reputation: kbwh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,751
    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I have bikes with stems of 120 mm and 80 mm, chosen to adjust for different top tube lengths. The difference in handling from the stem length difference is subtle, small, and easy to adjust to almost instantly. It has far less effect than the real steering geometry parameters (head angle, rake, trail, etc.) There is zero "twitchiness" associated with the shorter stem, IME. I think people are overstating the "problem," based on my own experience.
    This. An 8 cm stem on a 56 is ​unproblematic.
    Also: Nobody mentions bar reach in these discussions. Ever. Until I do.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

  20. #20
    Banned forever.....or not
    Reputation: MR_GRUMPY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    23,773
    All my bikes have 140mm, or 135mm stems. I tried a 130 on one, but had to change it to a 140, to be more comfortable.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
    .
    How would you like it if Hitler killed you
    Dogbert.

    I>U

    Buying parts to hang on your bike is always easier than getting fit.

    If you feel wimpy and weak, get out and train more, ya wee lassie!

    If Jesus had a gun, he'd be alive today!

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Here's the deal, you currently have a "Fred" setup, and that's what people are griping about.

    You currently have a very high and short stem to deal with whatever issues you have, and it's not the way things are done. The setup you have is not correct, it's not normal, it's not as the manufacturers intended, and people are letting you know that. Would you put a 6" steering wheel on your car? Your setup is wrong/not ideal/Fred because of your injury or medical condition or whatever it is.

    So they're right. An 80mm stem on a 56cm frame is wrong, it doesn't belong there, the company never designed that bike that way, and all those spacers shouldn't be under the stem either. But alas, you're not normal, you're injured or recovering or whatever is going on.

    So for now ignore people here, as you aren't normal. Once you get riding and get putting some miles in, you'll feel it quickly. You will want your stem lower, you will want it longer, it will cause you problems as is.

    You may think that bunching up your spine is the best thing to do for comfort, but you're wrong, it's the other way around.

    And you can't expect the fitter to do what's right for you when you're in there complaining about pain or injuries or whatever in your neck. He'll try to get you comfortable on your bike, and then FOR FREE, he will adjust your position later/over time as you become more flexible and as your current incorrect position starts to hurt.
    Thanks. I think you're right here. I complained a lot about my neck issue so that may have swayed him. Also, not being flexible and out of shape only lets me lean over so far and feeling comfortable, so I'd imagine that has a lot to do with it. Guess my question is how much will the 80mm stem affect the ride/geo compared to the stock 100. I ended up sending him an email asking more about the stem setup and his thoughts. Will report back.

    For saying its completely wrong and not how Trek intended it may be right. BUT, I will say that it was the Trek precision fit system that suggested it once the fitter put in all the numbers/notes. Basically you do the fit session and after inputting it all into the system, it outputs a bunch of bikes/sizes/combos. The Domane 56 with the 80mm stem was at the top of the list (top is the best match). As you went down the list the size 54 showed up and then a Giant Defy. So if Trek is suggesting swapping the stem I'd say it can't be THAT big of a deal.
    Last edited by ejewels; 01-24-2017 at 10:23 AM.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,070
    Ahhh baloney! I am running a 50cm stem on my road bike, just cant reach like I used too.
    The bike handles fine, I can't tell the difference.
    Now some are saying they don't have a bike in the shop that will fit you and they are trying to shoehorn you into that frame size. That may be true.

    Bigger frames are better for people who have back issues as it minimizes the drop from seat to HB. Another option is to use a 17degree stem and turn it up.
    BANNED

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Ahhh baloney! I am running a 50cm stem on my road bike, just cant reach like I used too.
    The bike handles fine, I can't tell the difference.
    Now some are saying they don't have a bike in the shop that will fit you and they are trying to shoehorn you into that frame size. That may be true.

    Bigger frames are better for people who have back issues as it minimizes the drop from seat to HB. Another option is to use a 17degree stem and turn it up.
    I went in for a fit first and foremost, with the disclaimer that I'm looking at a Domane or an Emonda. He also had 54s and 56s in stock so trying to shoehorn me definitely isn't the case.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    7,600
    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    This. An 8 cm stem on a 56 is ​unproblematic.
    Also: Nobody mentions bar reach in these discussions. Ever. Until I do.
    No one mentioned bar reach because it's a constant in this particular situation so not relevant at all.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    3,066
    The bottom line is this: It will be your bike and no one who is responding to your posts can possibly know how the bike feels to you. We can all tell you our personal preferences and they are only that: personal preferences.

    Stems are relatively cheap, $50 will get you a really good one off eBay, compared to every other component on your bike, other than expendables like tires, tubes, etc. Buy whatever YOU want based on how the bikes you are being offered feel to you and, if it doesn't suit you later, buy a different length stem until you are satisfied.

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Longer stem or shorter stem
    By Sisbud in forum Colnago
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-22-2013, 03:50 PM
  2. Suggestions on shorter stem?
    By jfd986 in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 09-30-2012, 04:31 AM
  3. I think I need a shorter stem
    By Dave Hickey in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 12-13-2010, 04:50 PM
  4. want a shorter stem
    By ionlylooklazy in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 09-21-2009, 08:58 AM
  5. 10 mm shorter stem = bike wobbly?
    By Robi in forum Components, Wrenching
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 06-08-2007, 10:53 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •